Jayhawks Drop 2-0 Decision to West Virginia

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – A go-ahead goal within the opening moments of the match and another in the final 15 minutes spelled doom for the No. 9 Kansas Jayhawks as they fell to No. 16 West Virginia Sunday afternoon inside Rock Chalk Park. The loss marked the first time the Jayhawks gave up multiple goals in a game this year and was the first time KU has lost consecutive matches.
The loss moved the Jayhawks to 14-3-0 on the season and dropped their conference record to 4-2-0. West Virginia remained unbeaten in its last 12 games and went to 11-2-2 in 2014, with a 4-0-1 mark in Big 12 play.
“I was really proud of how we competed in the second half,” said head coach Mark Francis. “I told the team that the second half was the best 45 minutes a Kansas team has played in quite a while and that’s why this loss stings so much. We still have a lot to play for this season and I think we can definitely still make some great things happen here at the end of the year.”
 Junior Liana Salazar competed for a header
in the second half against West Virginia
Sunday afternoon.For the second time this year, KU conceded an opponent goal within the opening 10 minutes of action when West Virginia lined up its first corner kick of the afternoon just 4:30 into the game. The Mountaineers converted after senior striker Kate Schwindel got on the end of it and put her fifth of the year home from six yards out.  
The Mountaineers threatened again less than four minutes later when Schwindel nearly netted her second of the game. The senior nailed a shot from 20 yards out that, fortunately for the Jayhawks, slammed off the crossbar and out of harm’s way.
Kansas was unable to get much going in the way of offense in the first 30 minutes of action, however, Liana Salazar nearly drew her team level in the 33rd minute with a 25-yard strike that appeared to be headed for the back of the net. Salazar’s 10th goal of the year would have to wait though as it hit of the crossbar and fell harmlessly out of play.
Another near KU goal came four minutes later when senior Jamie Fletcher lined up a shot from the top of the WVU box. Her strike forced the WVU goalkeeper, Hannah Steadman, to make a leaping save to tip it over the goal and keep Kansas off the board.
KU came out of the halftime locker room on a mission as the Jayhawks dominated nearly every facet of the game. KU held possession for the majority of the half and created numerous chances throughout. Fletcher again put Steadman to work in the 64th minute with a shot that required another acrobatic save.
With the score still 1-0 in the Mountaineers’ favor and less than 15 minutes remaining in the match, the Jayhawks began sending players forward to try and find the equalizer. The strategy backfired when West Virginia caught the Jayhawks on a counter attack with Schwindel again taking advantage. The senior shot in her second of the match after a low cross through the KU box found her near the PK spot. Swindel’s goal marked the first time this season the Jayhawks have allowed more than one opponent goal in a match.
Some late Jayhawk attempts to get on the board yielded no results and Kansas was forced to settle for its second loss of the weekend and third shutout of the year.
Fletcher again led all players with four shots on the day, three of which were on goal. Kansas was outshout for the third-straight match though with WVU taking a slight advantage at 9-7.
KU goalkeeper Kaitlyn Stroud gave up multiple goals for the first time this season but added two saves to her yearly total. The senior is sporting a goals-against average of 0.56 and a save percentage of .878, both of which are career bests.
The Jayhawks will hit the Rock Chalk Park pitch for the last time in the 2014 regular season when they welcome in the Iowa State Cyclones on Friday, Oct. 24. KU and ISU will kick off at 7 p.m., for what will be the KU senior’s final appearance in front of their hometown fans.
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